All civil litigation cases follow the same time lines and procedures. The courts have designed it this way so that everyone who is seeking help through the legal system receives the exact same type of legal help. This ensures that all legal proceedings are equal, regardless of type of case, monetary value, or ability to pay for services.
Understanding the time lines and what each step entails will help you proceed through your case without a lot of confusion. Each case will follow these steps:
- Initial Filing. When a person seeks legal representation for their case the attorney will begin the civil litigation process by filing a Complaint with the court. At this time the other party (Defendant) is also notified of your intent to sue for damages. The Defendant has a specific number of days to respond to this Complaint.
- Discovery. All OKC Civil litigation attorneys will agree that this is the longest part to any case. During discovery information is gathered, interviews are conducted, and evidence is reviewed. Each party has a specific amount of time to conduct these services and share their information with the other party. This allows both sides to build a solid case for their client.
- Pre Trial Proceedings. Depending on the type of case and the cooperation of both parties, there may be some pretrial proceedings that have to take place for the case to proceed. If this happens, the case will take longer because it will have to wait for the court system to make important decisions regarding the case.
- Potential Settlement. OKC Civil litigation attorneys will strive to settle your case out of court. Avoiding a trial can significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to finalize the case and reduce the overall legal costs. However, your attorney will not settle if any offers received are not complete and fair.
- Trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, a trial date will be set. This can extend the length of the case by many months because the attorneys will need to prepare a case to be understood by a jury.
- Appeals. If your case does not have the outcome you desire, your attorney may file an appeal. This could extend the time it takes for the case to finalize by another year, depending on the schedule of the Appellate Court.